On Monday, July 18, 2022, Coleman Harrlie Gilman, beloved son, brother, and friend, passed away at the young age of 19. He leaves behind his father and mother Charlie and Kaycee Gilman, siblings Molly, Quinn, and Max, grandparents Dennis and Susan Nelson and Les and Donna Gilman, great grandmother Sara Dunham, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his younger brother Paden. Coleman’s passing brings deep grief to those who loved him, and his presence in our lives will be forever missed.
Coleman was joyfully welcomed into the world on September 11, 2002. As the first grandchild to grandparents on both sides, he was the light of many lives right from the start. From a very early age, Coleman brought joy and laughter to all those around him. When his younger brother Paden passed peacefully from this world on June 27, 2005, it was Coleman’s joyful spirit that helped to sustain family through that time of difficult grief. Coleman’s ever-present smile and innate playfulness made him a favorite of younger cousins, to whom he was a treasured friend and role model. As the oldest of all his cousins and siblings, Coleman was at ease with grown-ups and children alike. Always willing to give piggy-back rides or under-ducks on the swing to the younger ones, Coleman was just as happy helping his Pa on the ranch or assisting Grandpa Les in his house-building project.
Coleman had a strong work ethic, and could often be found changing irrigation pipe, chasing cows, fixing fence or helping around the ranch in general. At the time of his death, Coleman was employed by R.E. Miller in Dillon, where he enjoyed using his skills among other things as a one-armed welder, (his left arm was in a cast due to a recent injury), and was looking forward to earning his CDL. Coleman’s love of ranch work inspired him to pursue a degree in Agricultural Technology at MSU, Havre, where he recently completed his freshman year of college. With his adventurous spirit and outgoing personality, Coleman easily made many friends wherever he went with whom he enjoyed water skiing, camping, fishing, skiing, exploring Montana, or just hanging out wherever they were. His ultimate goal was to return to the family ranch and continue the legacy of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, each of whom had the privilege of working alongside Coleman during his lifetime.
Coleman was a dedicated student who earned multiple scholarships and academic accolades during his high school career. He was a proud Sheridan Panther, playing basketball and football. However, his particular area of passion and expertise was in the Ag-Ed classes where he often pursued challenging and innovative projects, including a drift trike and wood splitter. Coleman was an active participant in the Ruby Valley FFA, holding multiple chapter offices, having an extensive livestock project, and finishing 2nd in Montana for mechanics.
In his 19 years of life, Coleman made a tremendously positive impact on his many friends and family members. He embraced hard-work and adventure, travelled widely in the state of Montana and beyond, including trips to Washington D.C., Panama, and Costa Rica, and established lasting friendships with those who knew him. He will be remembered as fun-loving, hard-working, big-hearted, and above all, as a cherished and irreplaceable friend and family member with a loving heart and infectious smile.
A remembrance service will be held at the Sheridan School, in Sheridan, Montana, on Tuesday, July 26, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Ruby Valley FFA Alumni, P.O. Box 586 Sheridan, MT 59749 or Ruby Valley Search & Rescue (SAR), P. O. Box 684 Sheridan, MT 59749.